Can't figure out job ideas

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Can't figure out job ideas

Postby Frenchmom » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:50 am

Hello,

Because of my husband's job, we move every 3-6 years. By choice, I wouldn't like to work on the week-ends (except a few ones, maybe) to spend them with my family. And I would like to be able to leave for a week every 6-8 weeks to visit our families.

Under these constraints, I've been trying for years to figure out job ideas but cannot seem to succeed in any because of lack of focus and motivation.

At first, I wanted to draw portraits. Not a skill I master, but something I think I could do with some training. Problem : I always give up teaching myself portrait drawing after a few weeks. Not persistent enough.

Then I wanted to sell things on eBay but frankly, never found what ! I recently bought used books at a ridiculous price, I really wonder how the seller can make money out of this (she seems to specialise in old textbooks).

I tried Avon products and stopped after a year because I had too much overheads for it to be profitable enough and I felt I was not in command of the products and their prices.

I've though about crafts but so many things are made by hobbyists or in China that I could not stand the competition.

I've been painting on canvas for a few years, but I'm not confident or motivated enough to sell my art. Well, I did sell some, but now that we live in a new town, sales stalled. I also sold small works on paper on eBay, but I'm ashamed about how cheap they went for. (and I tried for several months, listing regularly).

I've written my ideal day, and I need recognition, contact with people (which I lack a lot) and a small profit through a fulfilling activity. I think I need to do something with the skills I have now, because if I have to spend too much time acquiring some, I will give up during the journey.

About skills, I feel I know how to do many things, but none on an expert level. Such as drawing, sketching, painting, binding books, writing a blog, maintaining a website, sewing, etc...

I have a website and a blog but I don't know if it's OK to post them here.

Thank you for helping me seeing things I might miss, if you can.
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby momof3plus » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:20 pm

Hi

What about starting an 'ART' group? Similar to the success team, just get together with a few others, even if you have to put out an ad, and at the first meeting you could discuss your goals ,and then keep tabs on each other. That way you get your social contact, recognition from other artsy types and also you can sell your finished products.

We do something similar here, we have 'art night' every saturdya, and everyone just brings their craft, while we chat and listen to lectures.

hth!
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby Frenchmom » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:26 am

Yes, it would be a solution to focus more...
Thanks a lot.
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby momof3plus » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:58 pm

Also, what about teaching art classes for kids? That way you make a bit of money, and don't have to worry that you're not 'professional' enough

hope you find something you LOVE soon!
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby Frenchmom » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:01 am

Well, well well... things are moving here !
My husband an I mulled over this big question and we remembered I once said that if I had to do it again, I would surely become an English teacher. I loved English when in highschool, but because I was good at maths they sent me that way... ( I hate maths and forgot most of what I learnt then )
So I want to teach English. And I'm 43. And I left college 19 years ago (master in business management). And I never got any English degree. And I don't know what my level really is and what I'm up against.
So my plan is to study English on my own as much as I can, and then be certified by some authority. And then teach or repeat.

So my plan for the comming months is :
-Study English
-Do some collage art and find a venue for it because I need art in my life.

Momof3plus, thanks a lot for suggesting teaching. I forgot to tell you I taught management 15 years ago and this was my best experience in the corporate world. And I'm thinking of teaching collage and book art, but studying English is my greatest priority.

Now have to work...
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby momof3plus » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:26 pm

Aww, so sorry I couldn't share in your excitement at the time!!

For some reason I never get the notices of new replies on here though I'm signed up for that.

Excited to hear what you've been working on!
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby Frenchmom » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:21 am

Hi momo3plus,

Sorry to disappoint, i changed my mind once again. I didn't study English seriously lately, but I'm buzy focussing again on my collage art. I sold some recently and it was a good motivation to try on. Hope it will work ! If you want to check what I'm working on, you can visit my website and, from there, my blog. Enjoy !
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby momof3plus » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:03 am

Nothing to be disappointed about!

Selling your stuff is always fun!
A lot of the projects I've dived into, once I sold a few pieces, I got my high and moved on. lol

Anyway, sounds fun. I"ll check out your site now. Thanks!
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby Aphra » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:11 am

Frenchmom, I don't know if this is something you would consider, but my cousin was an art teacher for homeschoolers and she seemed to make a decent living that way. It seems like it would be an easy enough thing to accomplish--just start maintaining contact with homeschool associations in your area. I guess you would charge like you would for art lessons--maybe at a group rate. It would also be highly portable, I'd think. You could also work on collage art with them, maybe even taking projects that they're currently working on in other subjects and making a collage related to those subjects? I think the possibilities would be endless. And if you enjoyed teaching management, maybe you could make art and commerce part of your class. Maybe you and the kids you teach could start your own art gallery or collage business as an educational tool!

That way you'd also get to have contact with other parents in your area, too, and be able to work with them, and have contact with others.
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby Frenchmom » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:38 am

Hello Aphra,

I'm sorry I didn't answer your post sooner. I don't visit this BB very often. Your idea is interesting, but would need to be adapted as homeschooling is not very common here. Im still thinking hard...
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby DesireeSommer » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:11 pm

This is not a job, but how about advertising in the local paper of an informal art group where everyone gets to together to make art and help each other out? Another poster listed something similar. That way you could meet people, make contacts, get your name out there more, and gain the respect of your peers, slowly but surely? You could also put fliers around a college.

If there is any kind of college in your town or community adult classes, they often have either classes or nights when you can pay a small amount to do figure drawing/watercolor, etc. Great way to meet like-minded individuals and pick their brains about how to sell more art and get it seen.

I live in a small town, but there are coffee shops in this town, and small art galleries in neighboring towns that feature local work by artists.

I don't know if this applies to you, but I have found that often, as an artist, what I need most is just human contact, to be in the flow of the world. It's sort of healing for all the lonely hours you spend by yourself doing your art. I think I do more work, and better work, when I get a regular job. Right now I'm a receptionist. It's easy but fulfilling work that puts me in touch with lots of people, so I feel like I'm still connected to the human race, and yet it's not so stressful that I feel I can't devote time to my art after work.

Can't wait to hear more about your dream!
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby SquarePeg » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:37 pm

You can certainly post a link to your blog. There's even a thread for it:

http://boards.barbarasher.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=20219
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby Frenchmom » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:56 pm

SquarePeg, thank you for directing me to this thread. I just posted a link to my blog there.

Desiree, very good suggestions there. I'm currently part of a 10 week figure drawing group and I get lots of energy and self confidence there. I decided just to relax and work more on my art and stop trying to sell it. Hopefully, this will free my mind and let me be conscious of other job/income opportunities if any.
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby SquarePeg » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:36 am

You're welcome! The blog is lovely. I'm glad you provided English translation! :)
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Re: Can't figure out job ideas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:34 pm

My friend sells items on eBay. She also sells craft items and vintage items on ETSI (I'm not sure of the spelling.) I think that there is a learning curve, so be prepared to start slowly. She buys items at thrift shops and offers them for sale. She deals with small items and items that don't cost too much. She's careful of breakable items - doesn't deal with long skinny pieces of glass or really fragile items. Some items don't sell, and she has to donate them. Also, be prepared to have to store items for a while. They don't sell right away. You can see the problem with heavy items - cost of shipping and having to store them. That said, she makes about $200 US in a good month, and that's on top of a regular job.

Concerning drawing, there's a great book for learning to draw. I think the author is Betty Friedman - "Drawing on the Artist Within."

Good luck
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
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